Fliers with flexibility should sign up for empty-leg email lists of companies like Magellan Jets, who regularly send out emails selling discounted flights from, say, the plane of a corporate exec who flew to Los Angeles but is looking to offset his cost of getting the plane back to New York. “I wouldn’t say that the cost of flying private has gone down, but there are new ways of pricing charter that makes it more accessible,” says David Zipkin, co-founder and VP of Tradewind, the service known for semi-private flights in the Northeast and Caribbean. “In our case, we save people money with our shared charters, and we also sell discounted empty legs.”
Privacy is one of the main advantages of a charter flight. Unlike a commercial flight, where travelers are herded through a crowded airport, having to undergo an intrusive security screening, passengers on a charter flight depart from a private facility known as an FBO. At most private airports, passengers can pull their cars right up to the plane.
With a charter flight, you rent the entire aircraft, rather than just one seat. The aircraft can be large or small, and flights can be one-way or round-trip. The charter could be made on a flight-only basis, might include ground services such as transportation to or from meetings or could be part of a complete vacation package. Charter flights offer more flexibility than scheduled flights, with a wider choice of destinations and tailor-made itineraries.
We decided at the last minute to escape from Florida as hurricane Irma was bearing down on us, and Stratos came through for us. Despite our first choice airport running out of fuel, they managed to get some at another and we got out with about 1 hour to spare. It was a hectic time, with everyone else scrambling to escape, but Stratos made the whole experience simple and efficient for us.We will definitely fly with them another time, preferable when we're not all stressed about a hurricane aimed right at us!
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